The 2023 MLB season is in full swing and some players are already making a strong impression with their performance. One of them is Travis d’Arnaud, the catcher for the Atlanta Braves, who is off to an electric start at the plate.
d’Arnaud, who signed a four-year, $40 million contract extension with the Braves in November 2022, is hitting .400 with six home runs and 18 RBIs in his first 15 games.
He leads the majors in slugging percentage (.867) and OPS (1.333) and ranks second in home runs and RBIs. He has also thrown out four of nine attempted base stealers, showing his defensive skills behind the dish.
The 33-year-old veteran is no stranger to hot streaks. He was named the NL Player of the Month in September 2020, when he hit .321 with nine homers and 22 RBIs in 22 games.
He also had a strong postseason that year, helping the Braves reach the NLCS for the first time since 2001. He finished fourth in the NL MVP voting in 2020, after hitting .321 with 16 homers and 49 RBIs in 60 games.
d’Arnaud’s success in 2020 and 2023 can be attributed to several factors. One of them is his health. He has been plagued by injuries throughout his career, missing significant time due to various ailments, including a torn UCL that required Tommy John surgery in 2018.
He has been able to stay healthy and play regularly since joining the Braves in mid-2019.
Another factor is his swing. d’Arnaud has made some adjustments to his mechanics, such as lowering his hands and shortening his stride, that have helped him generate more power and contact.
He has also improved his pitch selection and plate discipline, laying off pitches outside the zone and driving pitches in his sweet spot.
A third factor is his confidence. d’Arnaud has always had the talent and potential to be a star catcher, but he has struggled with consistency and expectations in the past. He was drafted by the Phillies in the first round in 2007, but was traded to the Blue Jays in 2009 as part of the Roy Halladay deal.
He was then traded to the Mets in 2012 as part of the R.A. Dickey deal. He spent seven seasons with the Mets, but never lived up to his hype as a top prospect. He was released by the Mets in May 2019, after hitting .087 in 10 games.
He signed with the Dodgers, but was traded to the Rays after playing only one game. He finally found a home with the Braves, who claimed him off waivers from the Rays in August 2019.
Since then, d’Arnaud has been a key contributor for the Braves, who have won three consecutive NL East titles and are aiming for their first World Series title since 1995. He has earned the respect and trust of his teammates, coaches and fans, who appreciate his work ethic, leadership and clutch hitting.
d’Arnaud is off to an electric start in 2023, but he knows that it’s a long season and he has to keep working hard and stay focused. He is not satisfied with his personal achievements; he wants to win a championship ring with the Braves.
He is one of the hottest hitters in baseball right now, but he is also one of the humblest and most grateful ones. He is enjoying every moment of his career resurgence and he hopes to keep it going for as long as possible.
Final Thoughts: Travis d’Arnaud’s Hot Start and Path to Success
Travis d’Arnaud’s electric start to the 2023 MLB season is a testament to his talent, hard work, and perseverance. After years of struggling with injuries, inconsistency, and expectations, he has found a home with the Atlanta Braves and become one of the best catchers in the game.
His hot streak is not a fluke, but a result of his improved health, mechanics, and mindset.
d’Arnaud’s success in 2020 and 2023 is a reminder that baseball is a game of adjustments and resilience. Even the most talented players can struggle with injuries, slumps, and pressure, but they can also overcome them by staying focused, open-minded, and positive.
d’Arnaud’s journey from a highly-touted prospect to a journeyman to a star is a testament to his willingness to learn, adapt, and persevere.
d’Arnaud’s success is also a tribute to the Braves’ scouting, coaching, and culture. They saw something in him that other teams didn’t, and they gave him a chance to prove himself.
They also helped him make the necessary adjustments to his swing and approach, and they gave him the support and confidence he needed to succeed.
d’Arnaud’s teammates and coaches have praised his work ethic, leadership, and clutch hitting, and they have credited him as one of the reasons why the Braves have been a consistent contender in recent years.
d’Arnaud’s hot start is just the beginning of the 2023 season, and there will be many ups and downs ahead for him and the Braves. However, his performance so far is a source of excitement and optimism for his fans and a warning to his opponents.
He has shown that he can hit for average and power, throw out runners, and handle pitchers with skill and poise. He has also shown that he is a humble and grateful person who values his teammates and the opportunity to play the game he loves.
Travis d’Arnaud’s story is a reminder that success in baseball, and in life, is not always linear or predictable. It requires talent, hard work, resilience, and the support of others.
It also requires the ability to learn from failures and setbacks, and the willingness to keep improving and evolving. Travis d’Arnaud has embodied all of these qualities, and his hot start is a testament to his journey and his potential.